By Skip McDonald, R.N. BSN, ThB • Southeast Regional Resource Specialist / Nurses Christian Fellowship
How often do you hear self-care equated with self-love? I don’t hear this equation very often. The second half of the two greatest commandments seem to get overlooked. Whether we recognize it or not, the kind of care we give to ourselves will be reflected in the kind of care that we give to others. Healthy self-care hangs in the balance between self-depreciation and self-indulgence.
As nurses, we have the tendency to pay more attention to others than we do ourselves. Somewhere down the line we have not been taught to care for our souls just as well as we care for our bodies. We can look picture perfect on the outside while our inside, our soul is decaying. Jesus cares about all of who he created us to be-body, soul, and spirit.
Hearing the Word
27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” (Luke 10: 27-28, ESV)
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5: 13-14, ESV)
Responding to the Word
- Read Luke 10:27-28 and Galatians 5:13-14. How is self-care described in these verses?
- How does loving God, others, and ourselves relate with one another?
- How does the way in which we love ourselves affect the love we extend to others?
- How will loving in this way bring about life? (Luke 10:28)
- In what ways does freedom unleash love?
- What connotation does the phrase self-love hold for you?
- What are some things you do to nourish or love yourself? How has proper self-nourishing made a difference in your ability to “love your neighbor” as yourself? What happens when you don’t properly nourish yourself?
- As we celebrate Nurses Month, how can you allow God to love and celebrate you through others?
Thank you for your service my fellow nurses and nursing students. May your light continue to shine brightly as you allow Christ to love you and through you. We celebrate you!!
Skip McDonald has been a Registered Nurse for 43 years and on InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff for 27 years. She has a strong desire to help others obtain and maintain mental and emotional health. Skip enjoys reading, worship fitness and writing. She resides in Smyrna, GA.